CoughingUnintentionally, Wally Ben makes us laugh. Sometimes I suspect he means to–he does something over and over and I wonder if we have a little ham on our hands. But a lot of the time, just being his nine-month-old self gets a good chuckle out of us.

His sounds contribute to his comedy show a lot. He cooed here and there until he was 4 months old. Then he screamed for a few days. Then he got bored of that and took a vow of silence for a few months. Just a few weeks ago he started talking again here and there, but for the most part I’m convinced he won’t say anything real for a long time.

He does make up for his lack of talking with new sounds all the time. I’ve picked up that he’s a sound guy. Hearing just might be his favorite sense. He shakes everything to see what it sounds like, and bangs things together, and picks big things up and drops them. Sounds keep him very busy.

So he likes to experiment with his own noises. One of his favorites is coughing. He furrows his brow, gets the most serious face on he can muster, and hacks. The picture here shows his best coughing face. My favorite was when he decided to try this out in the doctor’s office waiting room. I thought I should explain to the other people, we’re just here for a check up and he’s being a goofer. No contagious diseases here. But I decided not to, as I’m sure I’ll have to excuse him a lot in my life (I’m reminded of a story about my sister-in-law, Jane. She was in line at an ice-cream shop with Wally III when she was a toddler, and she poked a large gentlemen in the belly who was in line in front of them, and said, “Look at this fat guy, Daddy!)–I’ll let him have his fun this time.

Yesterday Wally and I were shopping in Best Buy, and WV had been in rare form all day. He had started a new “thing,” where he climbs on me, puts his mouth on my shoulder, screams, and then pulls his mouth away to let the full force of the scream out. He decided to practice to see what his loudest could be, as the vaulted ceiling in the store allowed for a good resounding echo. Every time I saw someone new, they’d look at me, like, Oh, that’s where that sound was coming from that I heard across the room. I think the employees and shoppers were rubbing their ears with relief when we left.

He also learned how to click his tongue. He thinks this is a kiss sound, since a lot of the time when we ask him for kisses, he clicks and dives in for an open-mouth slobbery peck. (I wonder where babies get this idea that a peck happens with the mouth open. Babies are little monkeys when it comes to copying, but you pucker up  and they open wider.)

He also gasps, my favorite sound he makes. He smiles his widest grin, and sucks in air at a high pitch. It’s a very joy-filled sound, which is why I like it so much. Who knows where he got the idea to do this sound, but it seems to mean he’s happy, excited, and feeling a little silly.FunnyFace

And one of the funniest things he does is definitely unintentional. He has gotten very good at crawling, which in itself is funny because he thinks it’s faster to crawl with his right knee and his left foot. So he kind of looks a little like Spiderman, left leg crouched and propelling with his foot, and right knee going like a normal baby. He can get going pretty fast, and because his method is a little unbalanced, he often propels forward and lands sprawled out on his belly. He especially does this when we are chasing him, and he just can’t contain himself enough to keep going. But when he lands on his belly, he seems a bit embarrassed, and tries to pretend it was intentional. He lays there, looks back, and kind of rolls over and pauses for a while, like, Okay guys, I meant to do that, just taking a little rest for a moment…

I love this age. Saturday naptimes are my break, but right now I can’t wait for the little guy to wake up so I can see what jokes he has planned for me today.